Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion, Canandaigua, New York
151 Charlotte St, Canandaigua, New York 14424| Map |
Situated atop a sunny hill in Canandaigua, New York, the Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historical Park is a fun and educational outing for families in the Finger Lakes Region. While kids may not be particularly excited about touring the beautiful 40-room Queen Anne-style mansion, they?ll love scampering along the Kids? Trail Adventure geared for ages 12 and younger. Be sure to ask for this free adventure map at the admissions booth. The map leads children through a trail of clues along garden paths to hidden signs that provide clues to an answer that children will note on their map. Once they have collected all the answers from all the stops, they can turn the completed map in at the admissions booth to win a prize. The Sonnenberg property was purchased in 1863 when it just had a brick farmhouse on 14 acres. The owners, New York City bank financier Frederick Ferris Thompson and his wife, Mary Clark Thompson, purchased additional acreage and replaced the farmhouse with the mansion, which was built between 1885 and 1887. Today, visitors can tour many of the stately rooms, which include the Great Hall, the Billiard and Trophy Rooms, the Library, Drawing Room, Dining Room, the Master Bedroom and several additional guest rooms. The mansion is wheelchair-accessible throughout the first floor. Visitors should be sure to allot enough time to tour the themed gardens, which include a rose garden, Japanese garden, Italian garden, blue and white, pansy and moonlight. In addition, many visitors time their visit with one of the numerous special events, which take place on the wide porches of the Veranda. While visiting the Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park, many families like to enjoy a bite to eat at the High Noon Cafe, serving an assortment of crepe sandwiches, soups, salads, fruits and cheeses. While on a family vacation in the Finger Lakes Region in New York, it's worth visiting the beautiful Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park.
Brenda Austin has been here
Ratings by kids' ages
- Tots (0-2)
- Little kids (3-5)
- Big kids (6-8)
- Tweens (9-12)
- Teens (13+)
Tips for Families
Kids who enjoy gardening or history may find books and other items of interest to them in the gift shop at the Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park in the Finger Lakes Region in New York.
Address: 151 Charlotte St, Canandaigua, New York 14424| Map
Hours: Monday - Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Price: Adults (13+): $10; Children (0-12): Free; Seniors: $9; Military/Students $5
Recent User ReviewsView All
Gorgeous GardensFlag review
Sonnenberg Mansion and its historic gardens is a great place to stop between Syracuse and Rochester for a visit during nice weather. We took our daughter (toddler) in the summer of 2012 en route to Corning and we were not disappointed. The grounds themselves are sprawling, to the extent that when you first arrive, a small vehicle arrives to pick you up and take you to the mansion. Our guide provided very helpful suggestions for finding our way around, including some must-see sites that we might have missed otherwise. The various gardens were created in various themes, ranging from ancient Roman baths to Buddhist temples. The Asian garden was my personal favorite. After all that walking, we were too tired to tour the interior of the mansion, especially knowing that we still had a long drive ahead of us. However, the docents were friendly and came out to talk to us while we waited for the transport vehicle to take us back to the parking lot. The only downside to this beautiful historic site is that some areas appeared to be a little run-down at the time of our visit. For example, some of the statues' faces were chipped or missing parts and some of the landscaping was unkempt. However, we did see maintenance workers on duty throughout the duration of the visit, so hopefully the mansion and its grounds will soon be restored to their original splendor.
Tips for Families
There's no food on the premises, so either pack your own or eat somewhere in town. The main street in Canandaigua has several options. Bring a camera and watch the website; they have an annual juried photography contest.
Suggestions for nearby family-friendly accommodations
Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants
This might sound a bit random, but there's a drive-through Starbucks in Canadaigua. Why is this important? Because there aren't any drive-through Starbucks in the Syracuse area (where we live) whatsoever, and if you're in need of iced coffee or a Frappuccino in the middle of July, this means you get to stay in your air-conditioned car rather than hauling one or more children out of their car seats, maneuvering them in and out of the store, putting them back into their car seats, and probably forgetting your drink on the roof of your car as you drive off (okay, that's me, but still). When you're traveling with small children, it really is the little extra conveniences that can make your day.
My Kid's Review
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